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FAQ

Q. ISN’T MONTESSORI FOR LITTLE KIDS?

A. Montessori’s theories of curiosity, independence and self-directed, experiential learning are as applicable to teenagers as they are to toddlers. There are many Montessori high schools around the world, including those here in the United States, that educate both Montessori and non-Montessori students.

Q. WHAT MAKES BEACON DIFFERENT FROM OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS?

A. High school education is reimagined at Beacon with an innovative curriculum that fuses Montessori philosophy with the rigorous challenge of International Baccalaureate (IB) courses for students in grades 11 and 12. With equal emphasis placed on social-emotional learning and academics, students are empowered to be the agents of their own education within an environment of structured autonomy and independence and to forge meaningful relationships with classmates and teachers. Adolescent brain research informs our daily schedule and the design of our space, from the physical layout of our classrooms to our utilization of the city of Evanston as an extension of our campus.

Q. HOW DOES BEACON PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THEIR FUTURES?

A. High school education is reimagined at Beacon with an innovative curriculum that fuses Montessori philosophy with the rigorous challenge of International Baccalaureate (IB) courses for students in grades 11 and 12. With equal emphasis placed on social-emotional learning and academics, students are empowered to be the agents of their own education within an environment of structured autonomy and independence and to forge meaningful relationships with classmates and teachers. Adolescent brain research informs our daily schedule and the design of our space, from the physical layout of our classrooms to our utilization of the city of Evanston as an extension of our campus.

Q. WHAT SORT OF COLLEGE COUNSELING AND SUPPORT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?

A. Our college counseling office is staffed with two experienced counselors. Guided by a “best fit” approach, we offer comprehensive, four-year college counseling centered on personal discovery, self-awareness, and ethical decision making. As our students discover how they learn best and what they value most, we lead students and families through a thoughtful college discernment process that includes career exploration, college list formation, financial aid counseling, standardized test preparation, personal statement composition, and application process navigation. We partner with students, families, and higher education professionals to offer dynamic college counseling programming throughout the school year. Our counselors are active and engaged members of NACAC, IACAC, and ACCIS, traveling to and presenting at professional conferences, upholding ethical standards in the college admissions process, and visiting dozens of college campuses each year to promote and advance the mission of Beacon Academy.

Q. WHAT SORT OF POSTSECONDARY OUTCOMES DO YOUR STUDENTS PURSUE AFTER GRADUATION FROM BEACON ACADEMY?

A. Beacon students are encouraged to consider a wide variety of post-secondary options after graduation, and our outcomes truly reflect our school’s inclusive, purpose-driven mission. Since our inaugural Class of 2017, 97% of our students have matriculated directly to four-year colleges and universities. Our graduates have been admitted to 191 colleges and universities in 42 states and the District of Columbia and four countries. These destinations include research universities, liberal arts colleges, historically black universities, engineering schools, schools of art and design, music conservatories, and schools of business and management. Students from Beacon have matriculated to both public and private colleges and universities, including some of the most selective schools in the world. 3% of our graduates have chosen to pursue gap year opportunities ranging from participation in elite level athletics to global service and travel to filmmaking to two-year college enrollment. Beacon graduates are empowered to choose pathways that best complement who they are and how they hope “to meaningfully contribute to a complex and diverse world with compassion and confidence.”

Q. HOW ARE STUDENTS ASSESSED? DO YOU HAVE GRADES?

A. Students receive numeric grades and a narrative assessment after each semester. The narrative assessments help students to identify their strengths and opportunities for improvements. At the midpoint of each term, students are issued a midterm report in order to help them monitor their own progress. Beacon students are formally assessed at the close of each term with a grade and a narrative comment from the teacher that addresses the specifics of the student’s performance. Additionally, students are asked to participate in written self-assessments at the end of each term.